What to do with Jerusalem Artichokes










Jerusalem artichokes are a delicious treat despite their bad reputation for inducing flatulence. We think they deserve more attention as a versatile winter root.

Sunroot, Sunchoke, Earth apple but not from Jerusalem

Known by many names, Jerusalem artichokes are actually native to central North America. The name is thought to have derived from the Italian girasole, meaning sunflower or ‘towards the sun’. It kind of makes sense as Jerusalem’s flowers are beautifully yellow and look like mini sunflowers.

Jerusalem artichoke tubers became a very common vegetable for human consumption in Europe by the mid-1600s. Cheap and available in London and in Paris, and Jerusalem Artichokes soups and dishes were featuring even in the most exquisite menus.

Naturally good

The knobby Jerusalem tubers store their carbohydrates in the form of inulin, a starch that is not utilised by the body for energy, unlike sugar. This makes them perfect potato substitute for diabetics since they are filling but not absorbed by the body, and because there is also evidence they assist with blood sugar control. Naturally high in fructose, Jerusalems are used to make brandy which has a nutty sweet flavour. High in dietary fibre, they are extremely good for your gut health. Iron to help transport oxygen into our blood, phosphorus for healthy bones and teeth and thiamin or vitamin B1 to assist in carbs metabolism, Jerusalems are too good to miss!

How to prepare Jerusalem Artichokes

Before eating or cooking Jerusalems, scrub the tubers thoroughly with a vegetable brush. Peeling can be difficult due to the protuberances and is not necessary. The skins are perfectly edible, and like most veg, the most nutritious part. It is possible to peel them if you like, just slice off the smaller bumpy areas and remove the skin with a vegetable peeler. If you will be eating them cooked, you might find it easier to boil or steam them whole and unpeeled first, and then peel if necessary.

To fix a limp, dehydrated artichoke, place in water overnight to reactivate it! It will go rock solid.

Worth the scrubbing

With similar consistency and texture to potatoes, Jerusalems can be mashed, baked, boiled, steamed, fried, and stewed, and combined with potatoes and other root veg in most dishes. Here’s a few of our favourite ways to enjoy them:

  • You must try mashed Jerusalem artichokes! Just boil with equal amount of spuds till tender. Mash with butter, salt and pepper. For extra luxury, add a little nutmeg and Parmesan!
  • We can understand why Jerusalem artichoke was voted the soup veg of the year in 2002 – they have a great creamy texture when blended. This Jerusalem artichoke soup with a yogurt and hazelnut dressing was highly recommended by a VegBox customer. For another delicious soup, combine jerusalems, potatoes and celeriac. Parsley and crushed garlic will finish it very nicely.
  • Roasted Jerusalems is a quick and easy way to enjoy these nutty beauties. Just mix with hazelnuts and goat’s cheese and you’ll get a tasty meal or side dish.
  • Sautéing is another way to cook Jerusalem artichokes – versatile, simple and keeps them firm and crunchy. Olive oil, garlic, bay leaves, some nuts – that’s all you need and dinner is ready!
  • Winter stews are another option. Most roots go well together, and try adding onion and celery, a bit of red wine, tomato paste, thyme and garlic to give your stew an exquisite taste to remember.
  • With their crisp texture and sweet, nutty flavour, they can also be eaten raw. Try with carrots, celery, pears or oranges – slice thinly and mix with a mustard based dressing. Or try this Sunchoke-Fennel Slaw.

Jerusalem artichokes love…

Garlic, black pepper, nutmeg, thyme, parsley, rosemary, sage, cream, Parmesan, beef, lamb, hazelnuts